the five on friday project

So I decided to do something a bit different around here, and have a little fun on Fridays.  I'm starting off with Five Things I'm Grateful For this week, but next week it might be five things to make or do with your kids.... five things that make me laugh... five pieces of baby gear that I'd love to recommend... five random facts about me...  five cool websites I've come across, or, if you're really lucky, five knock-knock jokes from Parker.  ;) You're welcome to join me!  I'd love to have some company, read your Five on Friday, and get to know you a little more too.  If you decide to play along, simply link us up in the comment section below!

FIVE ON FRIDAY  |  Grateful

1 |  I'm grateful for the rain we've had this week. Every. Single. Day.  The rain cools the Gulf waters down, and in terms of hurricanes, Warm Gulf of Mexico = Bad.  Cold Gulf of Mexico = Good.  Yay for rain!!

2 |  Grateful for a clean desk this morning.  Puts me in such a peaceful, productive mood.  I'm uncluttering for the next few weeks, in preparation for a busy fall photography season, and to purge some of the everyday things I've let back up over the summer.  Two bags of clothing were dropped off this morning, I have a clear desk on which to work, and I opened the door to a clean, pared-down closet with my all clothes organized by color.  Ahhh.  (No laughing, please.  Organization makes me happy beyond belief.)

3 |  I'm grateful for snuggly kids.  Parker and Lila have been sleeping in Parker's trundle bed this week (their choice) all cuddled up to each other as sweet as can be.  Well, Parker and Lila, plus 2 blankies and about 6 stuffed animals/dolls.  It's crowded in there but they love it.  My heart swells every night when I go check on them.

4 |  Grateful for this album.  The kids watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" the other night, and then chose this CD to fall asleep to.  And thank goodness.  I was getting tired of hearing the Veggie Tales over the monitor.  I could listen to Vince Guaraldi forever.

5 |  Grateful for our home.  So many people in Tampa Bay have lost their homes in the past few years, and even though my husband's industry (mortgages/finance) has suffered in a major way, we're still okay.  Our house is pretty tiny (it was our "starter home" almost 10 years ago), and we're crowded, yes.  But it's charming.  Full of memories, full of little quirks.  It's OURS.  It's where we brought our babies after they were born, where they've woken up every morning for their entire lives, our little space where we rest and work and play.  Where we can lie on a blanket in the backyard, under the palm trees and the blue sky.  And I'm grateful for it.

stacey woods photo

Yep, it's an iPhone photo today.  I think I'll finally start that 365/Grateful iPhone project I've been meaning to begin.  Can't wait to see your Five on Friday lists!!



in the blink of an eye.

It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, in that carseat that seemed to swallow him whole.  Tiny blue onesie.  Sleepy blue eyes.  Itty-bitty cry.

Today, he turned five.  And I am feeling a little bittersweet.  So sad to think he'll be starting Kindergarten this fall.  Yet so proud to see him accomplish such "big-boy" things.  My heart both breaks and swells with pride as I watch him grow up right in front of my eyes.

I crept into his bedroom last night, after he was good and asleep, and I thanked God for giving me the honor of being this child's mother.  Thank you, God, for letting me take care of him here on this Earth.  Thank you for giving him such a sweet heart, and please guide me in the duty of nurturing that heart and mind as he grows.

We had a rather large celebration for him this weekend.  We are blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love him!  But since today was his actual birthday, we celebrated quietly at home... with a trip to the ice cream shop, some fun at the playground, and dinner at his favorite restaurant (Skyline Chili, LOL!).  Then we baked a cake at home, and laughed and loved until bedtime.  I couldn't ask for a more perfect ending to today.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.  "I wuv you pieces."

Love, Mama.  xoxo

the most beautiful light. really.

I was ecstatic when I met this sweet family at their home for this session.  The sun was just getting ready to set over the lake behind their home.  And we took full advantage, let me tell you!!  

The sun wasn't the only amazing thing this evening, however....  I have never seen a brother-sister duo be so willing to give out bear-hugs to one another.  How many moms and dads would cut off their right arm to just SEE their kids be so sweet to each other, much less have the photographic evidence?!  :)

More of that delicious sunlight....

I can't even TELL you how much I adore my job.  :)

rainey day!

I have photographed Rainey since she was in her Mama's tummy.  And my goodness, how this little darlin' has grown since I saw her last!! 

Rainey had a very special little "buddy" on the floor!  She snuggled the daylights out of this sweet lamb.


Reading to herself........  :)


Loooove this combo, snuggling in her reading chair with her Mommy.  And I adore creating these "peeking in" types of images!

One of my favorite little family shots....  I love that they're interacting so sweetly with just each other instead of looking at me.  (And can you tell that this baby is completely adored?!)  This is THE most "honest" family portraiture.  This is what it's all about.  And what I LOVE to capture!  It melts my heart. Every. Darn. Time.  :)  I would bet that this is the way they love on a typical Saturday morning.


Last but not least... her first ride on her new Radio Flyer!!

Aaaaand then it was naptime.  :)  But she was such a trooper for me.  A perfect angel.  Thanks so much guys, for such a fantastic morning.  I can't wait to show you the rest!!



So I promised big brother Henry his own blog post.  Did you see his face?!  It's no wonder.  He stole my heart from the moment I walked in the door!  Maybe my heart is a little on the soft side when it comes to big brothers these days.... what do you think?  ;)  That's okay though!  Regardless, I just cannot wait to show Mom and Dad this little sampling, before their gallery is ready. 


With Daddy here.....  melts your heart, doesn't it??

And one that his Mama never knew I caught......  This little hand-snuggling is just precious to me.


Last one..... 


What a sweetie.  Thanks Little Man, for a fun morning.  :)